Cardinal Nest

Innovative Learning Labs (NEST Navigating Excellence Success and Triumph)

  • Dedicated to precocious kids learning in areas applied to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math)
  • The elementary and middle school labs provide an ENGAGING environment that SPARKS “the love of learning” in the areas of STEAM-related fields
  • Includes faculty development that promotes STEAM-related curriculum that encourages teachers to seek additional certification in the STEAM areas.
The Nest

Cardinal Nest Locations

Beaumont ISD

Pietzsch Mac-Arthur Elementary
Blanchette Elementary
Charlton-Pollard Elementary
Amelia Elementary *
Martin Elementary *
Dishman Elementary *
Regina Howell Elementary *
Fletcher Elementary *
Homer Elementary *
Guess Elementary *

Hamshire-Fannett ISD

Hamshire-Fannett Intermediate School *

Hardin-Jefferson ISD

China Elementary *
Sour Lake Elementary *
* Location Coming Soon

Brief description of the collaborations:

Create a unique, innovative learning space with alternative seating for the students of underserved elementary campuses. These labs are Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math focused and supports, the development of financial literacy, career exploration, and cultivating a college-going culture. The project includes the purchase of needed items to supply the learning labs and creates a unique and innovative atmosphere for learning. The learning lab space has been provided to Lamar University by the School District. Volunteers have been attained by Lamar University and industry. In addition, community volunteers have pledged service hours to the lab’s mission.

Lamar University service-oriented student scholars and student leaders will be paired with small groups of students from a partnered campus as “SOAR (Students Occupationally and Academically Ready)”. The mentor/mentee will be assigned and approved by both a LU representative and a partnered campus representative. Programming and social gatherings will be made possible by the LU Office of Community Relations, Economic Development, and Student Access. Such programming will allow the mentor/mentee to interact at LU athletic events, academic events, and programs offered by Lamar University student groups.

This collaboration allows for the pathway model from early college awareness to dual credit supporting first-generation, low socio-economic college students.

Community need:

The development of the innovative learning labs serve students at underrepresented campuses in Southeast Texas. The innovative space and collaboration provide Lamar University students the opportunity to develop in the area of service-learning. Additionally, there are undergraduate research opportunities for the faculty and staff of LU and the promotion of STEAM teachers while providing innovative off-site classrooms. The innovative learning labs seek to SPARK the love of learning and ENHANCE the academic performance of the students in the area of STEAM.

Academic community constituent needs:

  • Support students, teachers, and parents of underrepresented elementary campuses, as well as the Lamar University community.
  • Support the ongoing successes established by the campus administrator's efforts and vision for dedicated space.
  • Provide innovative learning labs for service learning, undergraduate research, faculty development, and student success in the areas of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), reading, financial literacy, career exploration, and creating a college-going culture.
  • Support underserved campuses in provided resources to spark and enhance the love of learning by creating a college-going culture.
  • Support campuses' efforts in making instructional planning and delivery a significant priority. Campuses have created in-school tutorials to serve more students, and campuses implement extended planning periods on a consistent basis.  
  • Support campuses' data-driven instruction (student and teacher data tracking).
  • Support efforts of those campuses that have reshaped how teachers plan together to align curriculum and instruction based on campus demographics.
  • Support campuses that are striving to create a culture of pride and belonging.

Working collaboratively with the Office of the Superintendent, to support business partner campuses, students are further exposed to STEAM through quarterly community STEAM nights, robotics competitions throughout the year, youth code jams and STEAM camps on weekends and during the summer months.

Elementary students have opportunities to experiment with and learn about robotics, coding, 3D printing, CAD (computer-aided design), drones, forensic science, and many more STEAM-related topics while exercising their creativity and strengthening their math and science skills.

The Office of Community Relations, Economic Development, and Student Access continue to identify and provide support of unique opportunities that will support the collaborative mission between Lamar University and the school district.

NEST Labs included the following resources:

  • Clear Touch 65-inch multi-touch panel with tilting stands
  • Each multi-touch panel is equipped with a loaded PC with STEAM-related Software, 150,000 lesson plans
  • STEAM-related workspace and resources
  • Resources promoting cultural diversity
  • Alternative seating
  • Resources promoting cutlural diversity
  • Class set of virtual reality goggles (if applicable)
  • STEAM related workspace and resources: tinker space and maker spaces
  • Life-size Big Red and LU
  • Murals are designed on the walls of each NEST to reflect a safe and inspiring enviornment allow for the students to "spark" or "enhance" their independent love of learning, supporitng social and emotional learning objectives
  • NBA Cares
  • NBA Math Hoops
  • Age-appropriate alternative seating
  • Reading NOOK with age-appropriate selection and cardinal reading buddies
  • Digital citizenship materials and software
  • Lux Blox STEAM Deluxe Classroom set
  • Jumbo LED, 10mm LED Emitting Diodes Light Lamp Diffused F10 round - classroom set
  • STEM Green Screen Production Kit
  • Ozobot sets
  • Wonder Workshop Cue Robots and Accessories

NEST include the following TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills)

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), are the state standards for what students should know and be able to do.


  • Use appropriate fluency (rate, accuracy, and prosody) when reading grade-level text
  • Use context within and beyond a sentence to determine the relevant meaning of unfamiliar words or multiple-meaning words
  • Establish a purpose for reading with assigned and self-selected texts
  • Generate questions about the text before, during, and after reading to deepen understanding and gain information
  • Make correct, or confirm predictions using text features, characteristics of the genre, and structures
  • Create mental images to deepen understanding
  • Monitor comprehension and make adjustments such as rereading, using background knowledge, asking questions and annotating when understanding breaks down
  • Make corrections to personal experiences, ideas in other texts, and society
  • Make interferences and use evidence to support understanding
  • Evaluate details read to determine key ideas
  • Synthesize information to create new understanding


  • Students learn strategies for managing their online information
  • Students learn to protect their own digital privacy and respect other digital privacy
  • Students learn their responsibilities and rights as creators in online spaces
  • Students learn to identify, find, evaluate and use information effectively
  • Students use interpersonal and intrapersonal skills to build and strengthen positive online communications and communities
  • Students role-play with people and individuals to experience how both negative and positive interactions through technology can impact their individual lives.


  • Provide students equitable access to the knowledge and skills necessary for college and career readiness in the 21st century
  • Focus on mastery of skills and knowledge which connect classroom activities to the world outside of the classroom
  • Align with current research on how students learn
  • Provide an active experience for students


  • Identify the complex elements important to members of a diverse, cultural group in relations to its history, values, economy, beliefs, and practices
  • Select and apply appropriate methods of inquiring to analyze complex questions about cultural differences and/or equity
  • Articulate an awareness of some of the central historical and present diversity issues addressed, including race, ethnicity, ability, national origin, or other identities.
  • Understand ways in which cultural groups differ and how such differences relate to one another

Cardinal NEST bring learning to life through Cleartouch Panels

cleartouch panel available in each NEST 


  • Interactive Displays That Bring Learning to Life

    Clear Touch Interactive panels empower a new generation of teaching and learning without all of the logistical headaches. Our interactive displays are the ideal classroom technology solution, being easy-to-use, simple to install, and providing more than 50,000 hours of hands-on classroom use—all without costly software subscriptions and high-cost maintenance.

  • Classroom Technology for Teachers

    When it comes to teaching, content is king. Clear Touch Interactive panels are designed to put lesson content back in the center of the teaching and learning experience. Rather than struggling with finicky technology, projectors, or interactive whiteboards, teachers can now spend more time doing what they love: teaching their students. Interactive panels are both easy-to-use and provide an effective and fluid classroom teaching experience that boosts the quality and effectiveness of the teacher-student interaction.

  • Prepackaged with a full educational suite of software

    With an easy-to-use suite of educational software, Clear Touch Interactive panels allow you to easily create vibrant, interactive lesson plans for your students. If you need to record your lessons, you can easily do that with our EasiCapture software.

    With all of the software at your fingertips, you can easily adapt your lessons on the fly, drawing on top of lesson content, playing educational games, playing videos, or streaming content from another device. Want to use PowerPoint or another software? Not a problem! We are software agnostic—meaning we allow you to use the tools that best promote learning.

  • Experience Content-Centric Teaching

    Clear Touch Interactive panels are both easy to use and place a strong emphasis on making the content taught the center of the classroom experience. Teachers can easily create vibrant interactive lessons for their students. And depending on your interactive panel set up, you can easily wheel the panel to where you need it or tilt it 90 degrees to create an interactive tabletop learning environment.

  • Promotes Interactivity for All

    The ability to have students interact with the lesson content is priceless and promotes a deeper learning experience. Interactive panels give teachers infinite new options for engaging their students in a meaningful and interactive way. With a 180-degree rotating screen, teachers can easily create an interactive tabletop environment that allows all students, regardless of height or disability. The 20 points of touch also mean you can have multiple students work on the board at the same time. In addition, there are 9 integration ports, meaning you can connect with an iPad, computer, DVD Chromebook or multiple other devices.

BISD Students and LU SOAR Volunteers active in NEST and using the technology and resources available in each NEST Innovative Learning Lab BISD Students and LU SOAR Volunteers active in NEST and using the technology and resources available in each NEST Innovative Learning Lab  BISD Students and LU SOAR Volunteers active in NEST and using the technology and resources available in each NEST Innovative Learning Lab BISD Students and LU SOAR Volunteers active in NEST and using the technology and resources available in each NEST Innovative Learning Lab BISD Students and LU SOAR Volunteers active in NEST and using the technology and resources available in each NEST Innovative Learning Lab